Google changes search engine algorithm, celebrates 15 years

Google changes search engine algorithm, celebrates 15 years

Search executive Amit Singhal revealed some big changes at a Silicon Valley event meant to celebrate Google's 15th birthday.

Search engine optimization specialists might have to make some big changes to their work routines next week, in light of a new Google revamp that the company is calling “hummingbird.” According to an article published by the Wall Street Journal on Friday, the new Google update was unveiled on Thursday evening, and could impact as much as 90 percent of all search results offered by the platform.

Or maybe SEO experts can sit back and relax? Apparently, Google actually changed its primary search algorithm a month ago, but didn’t tell anyone about it. Google didn’t come clean about the change until Thursday, when search executive Amit Singhal revealed some big changes at a Silicon Valley event meant to celebrate Google’s 15th birthday.

While many companies will undoubtedly be thrown into an uproar by this news, especially internet oriented businesses that rely heavily on Google search results for internet traffic and revenue stream, Google was careful to assure press members at the anniversary event that the new algorithm is a positive change. For instance, Singhal claimed that Google will now be able to be more adept at delivering results for complex searches.

According to Singhal, more complex search queries have become prevalent in recent years, a product of the now-commonplace nature of smartphones and voice recognition software. Since more Google users are utilizing their smartphones to initiate Google searches – through personal assistants such as Apple’s Siri – the game for delivering applicable search engine results has changed. As Singhal explained, voice searches often result in longer, more complex queries. For instance, where someone executing a Google search on a web browser might just enter a keyword or two, a voice search is more likely to take the form of an entire phrase or a sentence-length question.

If Google’s new hummingbird algorithm allows search results to better meet the needs of modern, technologically-equipped audiences, that can’t possibly be a bad thing for SEO-oriented professionals. However, an article by SEO specialist Ryan Egan for the Search Engine Journal indicated that Google’s deeper web searches will also demand deeper SEO content from businesses hoping to truly boost their web presence. In the past, SEO principals were based on writing advertisements, blogs, articles, website copy, and especially page titles, around a few major keywords. If keyword searching is giving way to phrase or sentence-length queries on Google, then SEO content needs to become deeper, richer, and more tailored to fit those more specific queries.

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